- Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books; Reissue edition (April 1 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671001132
- ISBN-13: 978-0671001131
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.8 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 635 g
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #272,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dead By Sunset Mass Market Paperback – Apr 1 1996
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Another chilling and creepy book from the reigning queen of true-crime, Ann Rule, who also penned the riveting bestseller Small Sacrifices. Here, we encounter a charismatic con-artist accused of brutally bludgeoning his wife and follow his case through to its strangely redemptive end.
From Publishers Weekly
Brad Cunningham was handsome, brilliant, a high-school hero in his native Seattle, a football star at the University of Washington. His family background was unusual, with a Native American mother of whom he was ashamed and an Anglo father who was contemptuous of women. As an adolescent, Brad was violent with his sisters and his mother. This pattern continued in his first, second and third marriages but reached its apogee with his fourth wife, Cheryl Keeton, a highly successful lawyer by whom he fathered three sons. When their marriage collapsed and she sought custody of their children, Brad, a bank executive, threatened her; in September 1986, she was found bludgeoned to death in her car on an Oregon highway. The case remained unresolved until Cheryl Keeton's estate filed a civil suit for damages against Brad in 1991. A criminal trial followed in 1993, in which Brad was found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 22 years. Rule (Small Sacrifices) provides a perceptive character analysis of a malignant, self-centered, charismatic con artist. It's a chilling, haunting portrait. Photos not seen by PW. 125,000 first printing; True Crime Book Club main selection; Doubleday Book Club, Literary Guild and Mystery Guild featured alternates; Reader's Digest Nonfiction Condensed Book Club selection; Tri-Star/NBC-TV miniseries to air in November.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Exposing characters like this is what Ann Rule does best, and she's on top of her game here. The women don't look so good either, although Rule is always sympathetic. I couldn't help but think about all the karmas they created by having and raising Cunningham's children. Rule kept saying they were "in love" as though that excused their behavior-in love with a psychopath, wanting him and wanting his children, and even raising his children from previous marriages. Our social sense of right and wrong condemns his behavior, but does it applaud theirs? In the long run their actions create and nurture psychopaths past and to come, yet the women couldn't resist him. They all melted for him and for his children. Yet he beat and brutalized them. Their primitive desire for what they saw as the superior man, the alpha male, was so strong that they risked death to be possessed by him. The Sunset Freeway victim, apparently an otherwise excellent person, "upgraded" to him and paid the awful price. Rule gives no details about the drugs they did and she considerably downplays the sex graphics as though this were evidence in a trial and she wasn't allowed to sully the principals. Ann Rule fans know this is her style, and perhaps it is best to concentrate on the essentials.
Dead By Sunset is a good read and a disturbing and profoundly sad story.
Brilliant and a successful lawyer, Cheryl was beguiled by the intelligent man of natual charm and quick wit. Three sons were born of their union, each one described as being highly intelligent like their mother.
Cheryl adored the boys and would do anything and everything for them. She also accepted Brad's older children wholeheartedly. Unfortuately for all, Cheryl's sons never really got to know this because she was killed when they were quite small.
Cheryl's dream of a happy life as Brad's wife ended with her death. Brad's dream of continuing to maintain a certain lifestyle at the expense of others would soon become a dream deferred.
Cocky and confident that he had pulled off the untraceable murder, Brad set to work finding yet another willing wife. That cockiness was to prove his undoing when he served as his own counsel during his 1994 trial.
Brad got what he deserved which is life behind bars. As for his hapless children and former wives, one can only hope and pray that their lives have worked out despite their many hardships caused by this killer Casanova.
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